Pedersen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Pedersen is patronymic, meaning "son of Peter." Peter is a name which comes from the Greek word petros, meaning "rock" or "stone." Jesus Christ bestowed the name on his apostle Simon, saying "Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church" and like all Biblical names, Peter became one of the most popular personal names in Christian Europe.

Pedersen Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Pedersen, Peterssen, Pederssen and others.

Pedersen Ranking

In the United States, the name Pedersen is the 2,309th most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [1] However, in New Zealand, the name Pedersen is ranked the 568th most popular surname with an estimated 1,247 people with that name. [2]


United States Pedersen migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pedersen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hans Pedersen, aged 9, who landed in New York, NY in 1843 [3]
  • Amund Pedersen, who arrived in Wisconsin in 1854
  • John A Pedersen, aged 28, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1871 [3]
  • Rasmus Pedersen, who arrived in Iowa in 1879 [3]
  • Anders Pedersen, who settled in Illinois in 1886
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Pedersen Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Amandus Julius Marius Pedersen, who arrived in New York, NY in 1903
  • Alfred Bernhard Pedersen, who arrived in Mississippi in 1906
  • Albert Zacarias Pedersen, who settled in North Dakota in 1911
  • Alfred Pedersen, who arrived in Washington in 1915
  • Peder Johansen Pedersen, who landed in Wisconsin in 1922 [3]

New Zealand Pedersen migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Pedersen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Jens Peter Pedersen, aged 41, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "England" in 1872 [4]
  • Anna Margaret Pedersen, aged 43, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "England" in 1872 [4]
  • Hans Christian Pedersen, aged 12, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "England" in 1872 [4]
  • Karen Marianne Pedersen, aged 10, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "England" in 1872 [4]
  • Ole Johann Fries Pedersen, aged 6, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "England" in 1872 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Pedersen (post 1700) +

  • Dwite Pedersen (1941-2021), American politician who served as a Nebraska state senator from Elkhorn, Nebraska in the Nebraska Legislature
  • Charles John Pedersen (1904-1989), American organic chemist
  • Richard Foote Pedersen (b. 1925), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, 1973-75. President of American University in Cairo, Egypt [5]
  • James R. Pedersen, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1996, 2008 [5]
  • Ingolf P. Pedersen, American Republican politician, Member of Illinois Republican State Central Committee, 1943 [5]
  • Henry F. Pedersen Jr., American politician, Member of Nebraska unicameral legislature 4th District; Elected 1966 [5]
  • Henry Pedersen, American politician, Member of Nebraska State Senate, 1931 [5]
  • Barrett F. Pedersen, American politician, Village President of Franklin Park, Illinois; Elected 2009 [5]
  • Arly H. Pedersen, American politician, Representative from Utah 2nd District, 1996, 1998 [5]
  • Anne Pedersen, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 1996 [5]
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Olaf Pedersen (d. 1912), aged 28, Norwegian Third Class passenger from Sandefjord who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [6]


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 4th November 2011). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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